Going to Bars/Clubs/Concerts with Hearing Protection — Wise or Not?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Yas, Dec 8, 2019.

    1. Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      I need some advice and suggestions! Please!

      I have a Slipknot (heavy metal) concert coming up which I booked before tinnitus was a thing in my life. Should I try to sell my tickets, or should I invest in earplugs and go? I also want to go cinema in a few days, will my tinnitus become worse permanently? I’m so scared.

      Can anyone suggest good earplugs to protect from loud music? Anything accessible in the U.K?

      I’m tired of being scared to socialise because of the fear of being in a loud place and making my tinnitus worse. I’m 24 and I don’t want to be sat at home while my friends are out in clubs/bars! I just feel so unlucky and that I don’t deserve any of this. I’m already tired of living like this.

      Does anyone else go clubs/bars/concerts and cinemas safely with tinnitus? Help me someone!
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      This all depends on how loud your tinnitus is, and how risk averse you are. Personally I have not been to any concerts, bars or cinema in the last several years. After spending over a year getting my tinnitus under good control, I won't go back to bad tinnitus so willingly.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
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    3. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Only one way to find out! But if you "do the crime"/go to bars, don't complain about having to "do the time"/dealing with tinnitus that's permanently louder.
       
      • Agree Agree x 5
    4. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      How loud can that show get?
       
    5. Tex

      Tex Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Heavy metal? Are you trolling this forum? Unbelievable question if you have read this forum at all. You have tinnitus. Concerts are a thing of the past.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    6. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Ease up, Bill. It’s hardly a crime to socialise in a bar with friends.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    7. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, viral?
      I would say since your tinnitus is new and you aren't sure of its rules, I'd advise taking it slow. Personally I'd try the movies first but do it with earplugs in. If that works without problem then go from there step by step until you find out what your limits are.

      I think the risk is too high to go right now. That doesn't mean never, it just means taking it one step at a time slowly until you understand your limits.
       
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    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It doesn't matter what level of noise reducing earplugs one uses, if external sound is loud enough it can still irritate and spike the tinnitus or increase it to a new permanent level. The sound will pass through the head and transferred to the inner ear by bone conduction. Anyone that is new to noise induced tinnitus should exercise caution, when going places where loud sounds are present, especially if they are sensitive to sound or have hyperacusis. Putting trust in earplugs and decibel meters is not a good idea. The auditory system needs time to heal. Those that choose not to adhere to this advice risk their tinnitus becoming permanently worse.

      Michael
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    9. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      In the right kind of bar, bone conduction is not going to be an issue. The skull reduces sound by about 40-60 dB so the main problem will always be noise via air conduction through the weak point of the earplugs.

      By the time bone conduction is a real concern, you shouldn’t be in the room anyway as nothing is going to protect you short of an armour plated body suit.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    10. MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Hey Yas,

      I've had tinnitus for about the exact same length of time as you, and this might not be the advice you're looking for but, personally, I wouldn't go to that concert either.

      I'm pretty sure my tinnitus is from noise damage, especially as I went to a bar last Friday (with pretty high NRR (noise reduction rating) earplugs) and my ears rang at a much higher volume for the next 2-3 days. I think they've recovered a fair bit now, but they aren't back to the level they were before last Friday.

      If your tinnitus is from a perforated eardrum I don't know if it means it will be as susceptible to sound as someone whose tinnitus is from another cause, but I would suspect so, as damage has clearly been done to the ear. If you're going to go anywhere with noise I would make it somewhere quieter first and wear high NRR earplugs as well.

      Foam earplugs will be the highest (around 32dB) so long as you insert them properly (look up a video on YouTube as they have to be inserted deep). There are other earplugs that would probably be suitable for quieter bars (musicians earplugs - NRR not as high, but let you hear speaking/music clearer and custom moulded earplugs - NRR higher and even flatter attenuation of sound (so even clearer)), but foam has the highest dB reduction rating.

      Musicians earplugs will most likely be fine for bars though, it's impossible for anyone to say for sure though as people with tinnitus seem to have vastly varying degrees of sensitivity to sound, although it seems universal that they will be more sensitive to sound than someone without tinnitus.

      Like I said, there are quieter bars as well and I know cinemas are pretty loud, but maybe the sound is more regulated there, I haven't really looked into it. Personally, I'm probably not going to anywhere excessively noisy for quite a number of months until whatever damage I've done has settled down. I'm also looking into stretching, yoga, meditation and other things that will help my mind/body. Stress, tension etc. are definitely factors that affect tinnitus.

      All of that said, I have read many comments from people who have tinnitus and have been going to bars, clubs, concerts for many years and have said they've experienced no change. I've seen quite a few of them post on this forum as well. I imagine this is after letting the damage they've sustained heal first though, which could take many months. I would definitely 'test' yourself at somewhere a lot less intense, maybe in time after you've been to the cinema, a pub, maybe somewhere louder you'll know if your tolerance is better.

      Anyway, sorry if I've scared you more, and I'm probably not the best person to answer your question as I've not had this long either, but I have read a lot and spoken to a lot of people so am mostly just passing on others advice/information. You also never know, you might go to that concert and be fine, but tbh you'd probably be like me and be too anxious to enjoy it properly anyway.

      If you wanna talk about anything else feel free to send me a message. It sucks and has pretty much messed up my social life too.

      Cheers,
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 2
    11. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Sell the tickets, your ears are in no state to handle a band like Snipknot. You still have a whole life in front of you, do you honestly want to permanently make your T worse, just for one event? It's not worth it.

      Things can become better if you give it time, but they certainly won't if you refuse to give your hearing system time to heal. There are more ways to socialize than just bars. Invite your friends over at home and do something fun there, where you have reasonable control over the volume. Eventually you can start building up again (indeed, trying the cinema with earplugs and stuff like it). Set simple goals and expand them to a reasonable level.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      This message is for viewers of this thread. Please do not pay attention to the above. I have counselled and corresponded with many people, with noise induced tinnitus that have been adversely affected by sound passing through the head, by bone conduction and transferred to the inner ear and spiking the tinnitus, or making it increase permanently. One should not put trust in earplugs or decibel meters. Exercise caution and be judicious as I have advised in my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it, in the link below. Where necessary seek professional help to treat your over sensitivity to sound/hyperacusis. By all means go out and enjoy yourself but be careful.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    13. acute
      Depressed

      acute Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music. Stress, meds, Invisalign ?
      I feel exactly like you. This is a fucking shit. It’s a fucking shit to have tinnitus when you are 24 years old. However, I wouldn't go to that concert. You have been with tinnitus for a short time and it may still fade if you give it time to heal.
       
      • Agree Agree x 6
    14. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      It can be done. It is a risk though.
       
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    15. all to gain
      No Mood

      all to gain Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      never trust a doctor
      I definitely wouldn't go to the concert. I also, wouldn't go to the cinema so soon after getting tinnitus, but at least there you have an easier escape if things get uncomfortable and it's unlikely that the noise level will be anywhere as high as at a concert except maybe in the odd part or two.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Indeed it is a risk, and if a person is new to noise induced tinnitus it borders on being absolutely dangerous, to attend places, venues where loud music or sound is present. The auditory system needs time to recover. Some people believe it is just midrange and high frequency sounds can irritate the ear. This is not the case as low bass frequencies from speakers can also cause harm if loud enough.

      Michael
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    17. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      With all due respect, Michael, that’s what I said. There was no need to tell people not to pay attention to my post. I thought you were above this kind of pettiness but I guess not. Ironically, if this comment was directed towards you you’d accuse that person of lacking the correct manners and then threaten to ignore them.

      I wrote a long post earlier in this thread to try and help Yas and it was deleted along with many others because someone made a spiteful post towards her. Is this what the support forum has come to? People being spiteful and nasty towards those who are reaching out for help?
       
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    18. Mister Muso
      Busy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Slipknot have a strict noise limit of 109db for every concert.

      It's up to you if you think you can handle this with earplugs, but for me I'd probably not risk it. Remember pyrotechnics can be much louder and I got permanent T from pyro at a Rush concert.

      I'm a metal fan too and had tix for King's X when I got T. The tour was cancelled and I'm probably the only ticket holder who was relieved about that.
       
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    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      You’re right. I’m still so new to it all, I don’t know how to describe the volume of it. I can’t handle it getting any louder, I think it’s at a comfortable volume at the moment. Honestly can’t wait to see the ENT finally.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      This makes me sad. I’m so upset that my social life basically dies with tinnitus. It seems like I’m “doing the time” whether I go or not to be honest.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      I’m not trolling the forum at all, I’m simply asking for advice. I don’t understand why I got such horrible posts on this thread.

      I’m upset though, how can it be a thing of the past when I haven’t lived it yet. Tinnitus can die in a hole.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      thank you this is so helpful! I’m dying to see the new Star Wars so maybe I should see it in the cinema with some earplugs and see how things go!
       
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    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      I hadn’t thought of this but it makes so much sense. Thanks Michael. I definitely do have some hyperacusis too, I can feel it when my pet birds chirp haha. I wish earplugs meant that you’re indestructible haha
       
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    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      thank you! This is the response I’ve been looking for really. Very informative.
      I’ve been using gel earplugs for when I shower because I have to protect my perforation. However those are the only ones I’m comfortable using because they don’t go too far into the ear canal. I’ve got foam earplugs but I’m scared to put them into my “bad” ear with the perforation because I’m not supposed to put anything in there.
      I tried it in my “good” ear and felt that when I accidentally brushed or tapped the foam ear plugs it was incredibly loud in my ear, isnt that really bad? Maybe I bought rubbish earplugs I don’t know.

      thank you anyway, I’ll definitely be experimenting with them
       
      • Like Like x 1
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      I have spent time thinking about about it and I will no doubt cancel. Hopefully I can sell my tickets, if not then that’s a shame but my ear is more important than £65 I suppose.
      I’ll attempt the cinema in around 2 weeks time with earplugs and see how that goes.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. Matty1996

      Matty1996 Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1st August 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Yas Don't worry, some of the people on here can get a bit buttmad sometimes, pay no heed.

      Your desire to go is totally understandable and trust me I sympathise, I was looking forward to seeing Alestorm shortly before I got my own tinnitus. :D

      Ultimately the decision is yours, but if I were you I'd give it a miss just for now. You're still early in the acute stage and there are plenty of people that recover from that point. Try and give your ears the best chance at getting better and keep optimistic, things can absolutely get better.
       
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    27. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      You know I’ve been so completely focused on tinnitus that I’ve neglected the hyperacusis. I don’t think it bothers me as much as tinnitus. It’s still a pretty crappy thing though.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      It sucks so bloody bad. I wish it could disappear and I could be my normal self again.
      Thank you, I’m trying so hard to work on healing. I’ve decided not to go. I want to get better.
       
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      I was thinking of going to the cinema in 2 weeks time with some earplugs. Do you think it’s a bad idea?
      I’ll get to see an ent beforehand so maybe they can give me an answer too.
       
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yas

      Yas Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/11/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Perforated eardrum
      haha a blessing in disguise. Thank you for your help, I think I’ll be giving it a miss. Maybe some day in the far future when I’ve got my ears all figured out. For now I’ll stick to quietly listening to them out of my phone.
       
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